Third trip to Bury Hill this season, and the same as last weeks trip arriving late ready to fish into the dark. One change this time though - I was going to use Jeff's Lazy Rig
on the ledger rod (with a tight baitrunner so I didn't loose a rod in the dark), the float rod would be fished the same as last week. And both were baited with roach slices.
4.05pm, 3lb 12oz
, float. It was a lot milder today and more cloud cover - we were off before it had even got dark - terrible photo though, camera was set to night.
I thought the action was going to be hectic but the baits remain untouched for an hour and a half, not knowing a great deal about zander I did an old pike trick and brought the float right into the margin just off the reeds. Where it sat for about 3 minutes before charging off.
Not a great fight but the fish stayed deep, I only got a brief glance as she slid over the net - and I really did think double - 5.40pm, 9lb 1oz
, float. What a stunning fish and I'd smashed my PB (lead photo) - man they're big for their weight - and I was over the moon!
6.00pm, 4lb 0oz
, float. Under the rod tip again - they were in the edge. Next I brought the ledger rod into the side as well.
6.15pm, 4lb 10oz
, lazy ledger. The Lazy Rig
was away, but I didn't have to rush over and strike the fish was already hooked and pulling against the baitrunner - I strolled over and joined the fight! The circle hook was around the bottom jaw at the scissors - not hooked more trapped - and easily unhooked with fingers. This seems the perfect way to hook zander.
Except a run on the lazy lead 5 minutes later failed to hook-up. And then one about 10 minutes after that also failed. I spotted the problem and could have kicked myself - I only had size 8 circle hooks, the first bait had been really small the next was too big - the bait was sliding out of the mouth without the hook having chance to take hold. Size 4 circle hooks added to the shopping list - and a smaller bait added to the hook.
8.05pm, 2lb 15oz
, float. But they had moved or they had stopped feeding - I gave it another hour and a half but the baits remained untouched. As I was packing up the ledger rod I glanced over to see the float slide away - zed number 5 and the smallest of the bunch.
Another brilliant trip was in the bag - and a cracking new PB - a nine pounder - fantastic!!
Predator Challenge: 169lb 14oz
Jeff's post about the 'Lazy Rig', circle hooks and skull-holes can be found here
. Very interesting!
Interesting that you should call it 'my' Lazy Rig, Brian, considering I've only banked one fish from the only run I've yet had on it and you have banked the second. So it's something of a collaboration really. And you named it too!ReplyDelete
I didn't call it that, did I?
And a size 8 circle is a very small one. I have a pack but I'd consider them suitable for perch only. Size 4 will work much better because of the larger gape. I think I'm using size 2 currently.
Russel reports 'trapping' with the hooks too. I've used circles for both pike and zander recently. Have not lost a fish yet but a couple were indeed trapped rather than pierced because they don't let go easily once they wind about the jaw. All very interesting
Oh, and a fantastic new PB! That elusive double is going to fall soon enough. I only fished the place twice and had just one zed. It was a good double and was taken on a size 4 circle. I thought I'd try them out that day as an experiment. Let me tell you I was worried when I saw it break surface!Delete
I can't call it a collaboration, I just copied what your rig as closely as I could with the kit I had available - but that's how all these rigs happen, you see something, take it and adapt it with experience.Delete
It's a great idea, sorry I named your rig! I'll get some size 4 circles for next time.
The nine was a cracking fish, until now I've just been happy to land a few zeds, but a double is the target now - and that's probably the best venue to find one - fingers crossed...
Indeed. It's a new direction and might just work. We'll see. I'll go full out on two rods the next few weeks see what happens. Anything good comes of our efforts then we me have something extra on the tricky problem of banking zander.Delete
I'm going to use them on both rods next time, I have such a poor hook-up rate - and it's expensive, need to extract everything I can!Delete
Keep the ledger as the lazy rig and fish the float as normal but without a strike... And adapt from there...
It is expensive. But I like the place though. I'll do a trip down this winter if I can make it.Delete
Let me know when, you can show me some other tips!Delete
I also tried Russell's photo technique, but a self-take in the dark with cold hands wasn't the ideal place to start. Bit of practice in daylight required.ReplyDelete
Hey Brian, hell of a Zander. Doesn't need it's fin up to look impressive! Theres a bit of a knack to 'the trick'. If I catch some perch soon, I might do a blog post about it as it took me a while to find a workable method. The dorsal kept collapsing on me at first. The number of 'trapped' zander I've had on the circles is probably greater than those hooked properly, but the hook keeps holding, which I guess is all that ultimately matters.ReplyDelete
Cheers Russell. Seemed such a simple trick in my head, putting it into practice was a whole different story!Delete
I'm getting some size 4 circle hooks for next time (they're the biggest they allow) and using them on the float and lead. After seeing how it held on even without hooking the fish (and after reading Jeff's post on them) I'm hoping it will improve my pretty poor hook-up rate.
The natural flaring of gills and fins comes with long experience, I don't know how I do it but they always flare for me but talking to Dan in Sunday he reckons we tickle some part down low and they hate it!Delete
Don't work with perch though, so Russ's approach will be standard practice from now on
James said something similar to make the fin stand up... Not experimenting with that though, I'll stick to rig experiments!Delete
Very nice fish mate and a double can't be far away!
Are you fishing the Wye this xmas if so give me a ring this time!!
Fingers crossed I find a double Steve, but I'm pleased with that as a PB for the time being :)Delete
I'm not back at Christmas but I'll be doing a few long weekends when the water looks settled - I'll give you a bell.
Knew you would do it Brian, a matter of time. It's clear you've got "the knack", just stick to it and I'm certain that a double will not be far away. What a cracker of a Zed.ReplyDelete
Cheers James. A double would be very nice - but I'm enjoying the fact I've banked a nine for now - for now!!Delete
Great fish, well done.ReplyDelete
I 'trap' plenty of sharks on the 15/0 mustads I use for the surf here. The trick to getting a solid hook up with circles is a very firm drag setting and a couple of strike like tugs with the rod at the end of their initial run.
On the other end of the scale when using relatively small circles 1/0-2/0 for Pompano and whiting, good penetration is achieved by using a heavy lead on a fixed rig so they hook themselves against the lead.
A three way swivel paternoster or bolt type rig might work for you.
I have used circles over here now for 13 years although of course for different species.
Cheers Paulos. Yeah I remember how effective those circle hooks were when I was there - they don't look like they'll work until you see them in action. Those sharks and reds really smash the bait though.Delete
In my limited experience the problem with zeds is they are very delicate feeders (despite their appearance). The lazy rig leaves them a loop of free line so they can take the bait with no resistants, then as they swim away the hook pulls out of their mouth/throat and catches in the scissors as they hit the rod - hooked and ready to go.
Have you really had sharks where the hook hasn't penetrated the skin - just trapped round the jaw?
I'll have to fly over for a refresher course! :)
Yes, just lodged in and falls out on the beach. I also get a lot of reds where the circle is right in the middle of the bottom jaw. This is caused by them swimming at you. In a perfect world the fish picks up the bait and swallows as it moves off in search of something else and swims away from you. This I find rarely happens with a hook bait as the rig itself causes them to eat differently. Watch a shark eat an untethered chunk compared to a carcass tied to a rope anchored to a rock, totally different.Delete
Anyway I'm getting off topic, my best success has been smaller baits and bigger hooks. Also using a loop knot to tie the hook (same effect with crimped wire) so the leader can 'bend' or fold around the fishes jaw as it slides out for a good hook set.
Try the gentle strike/bump though, but wait until the end of the first run. Just a bump to push the hook through.
Thanks Paulos. And thanks everyone else... So it's going to be a size 4 barbless circle, attached with a loop knot, small bait Lazy Rig. To start with.Delete
Really looking forward to heading back up there!